Screening Tools Help Staff Know Children

posted 10/8/20 -- Children need strong foundations in all areas of their lives so they can build a bright future. LCCAA Head Start uses a variety of tools and partners to affirm the steady development of your child’s physical, mental and emotional health as well as their ability to learn.

“Screenings help teachers and parents know the children better,” said Education and Disabilities Specialist Jennifer Bartlebaugh. “Referrals shouldn’t worry or frighten parents. They just mean a little extra support will be provided to maintain progress.”

Within the first 45 days of enrollment, two major screenings are conducted by teachers and staff. The Ages & Stages and Devereux Early Childhood assessments look at communication, fine motor, gross motor, problem-solving, initiative, relationships and self-regulation.

Physical health is also addressed with screenings of height and weight, hearing, vision, lead exposure and hemoglobin. These screenings are conducted at our centers by our Family Service Workers along with several area partners.

“Babies and children need to have regular checkups during their first two years because they are growing so rapidly,” said Family Health and Community Services Specialist Stefanie Drew.

The results of most screenings will be shared during October home-visits - which will be conducted virtually this year.

Many factors influence a child’s learning and development: temperament, personality, learning style, culture, health and life experiences. All the screenings are designed to provide a full-picture of each child so support can be offered where it is needed, Bartlebaugh said.

“All children deserve the best possible start in life,” Drew added. “Working together, we will make sure each child’s needs are met.”

What About Virtual Students?

Virtually enrolled families still receive needed support from Head Start staff for their child’s learning and development.

The extensive Ages & Stages and Devereux questionnaires are being completed by email and Zoom.

The physical health screenings cannot be offered in homes, but staff can help by sharing what assessments are needed for your child. Well-checks are recommended with a pediatrician.

Babies should be seen at least eight times before their first birthday. Well checks are also recommended at 15, 18, 24 and 30 months. The Centers for Disease Control and Ohio Healthy Start provide guidance on screenings and exams every child should receive as well as a vaccination schedule.

Partners Make Screenings Work

The following local partners make it possible for LCCAA Head Start to provide excellent health and nutrition services.


  • Prevent Blindness: vision screening training and equipment.
  • Pisanick Partners: allergies and menu development.
  • Ohio Business College: Medical Assisting students.
  • Lorain County Public Health: newborn visits, lab work.
  • Case Western Reserve University Dental School: dental exams.
  • Ohio Guidestone: mental health screening and support